These past few months have been busy as we’ve welcomed back students of in-person learning. Initially we anticipated that all the students who’d chosen hybrid learning would return when LACDPH allowed reopening, many families preferred to remain on distance learning for the remainder of this school year. Though this change resulted in some teacher changes, we were able to accommodate the choices of most families, and I thank our staff for their tireless efforts to make those changes possible. We are pleased to have students back on campus and have appreciated all of your support and cooperation in making this transition.
In this article:
- DELAC Meeting May 14th at 10:00
- Superintendent's Advisory May 25th at 12:15
- Middle School Promotion Ceremonies in June
- Year Long Distance Learning for 2021-22
- 2021-2022 School Year Enrollment and Transfers
- Board of Trustee meeting May 4th and 18th at 6:00 PM - watch via YouTube!
- Honoring Service of Teachers (May 4th), Classified employees (May 18th), Management (June 8)
- Valley View and Greg Anderson Academy become WASC Accredited!
At a special meeting of the Board of Trustees last night, Memoranda of Understanding with Westside Union Teachers Association were approved, paving the way for the special needs students to return effective Monday, April 19th. Also, the Board of Trustees approved the use of the NWEA as the annual assessment for our students this year. Our students will have completed 3 administrations of this assessment to measure their academic progress throughout the year, allowing the Board to waive administration of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) for the 2020-21 school year.
We are pleased to let you know that an agreement has been reached between the District and Westside Union Teachers Association that will allow our elementary schools to reopen under the current health orders in our state and county.
This update includes information on the following:
Schedule of return for students
Checking Into School
Westside USD Reopening plans awaiting approval. Available on District and School Websites.
The TK-6th grade students in mild/moderate special day classes will return February 16th and the TK/K cohorts will return on February 22nd.
Parents will receive information about the new system for daily check-in which is currently required. You will find information about that system and directions for using it on the website. You will also find a video to help you with setting up the system either on your phone or on another device.
Some additional changes that have been made to facilitate reopening schools include the addition of 654 GPS ionizers to all HVAC units district-wide. These ionizers kill 99% of all germs, bacteria, and viruses, and are Underwriter’s Laboratories certified to deliver clean indoor air that is safe and healthy.
Monday, February 15th is Presidents Day. Our schools will be closed for that day.
Step 1: Make sure the Chromebook is Connected to your Wireless:
At the bottom right, select the time.
Select Not Connected . Note: If you see your Wi-Fi network name and a signal strength, your Chromebook is already connected to Wi-Fi.
Turn on Wi-Fi.
Your Chromebook will automatically look for available networks and show them to you in a list.
Select your Wireless network, enter the network password and select Connect.
Trouble Logging into a Website:
Verify with the teacher you have the correct website/URL and are using the right username and password. A common issue is mistyping "westsideunion.com" in student usernames.
If the website allows you to "Log in With Google" - try using that.
Clear the Browser Cache.
On your computer, open Chrome.
At the top right, click More .
Click More tools Clear browsing data.
Choose a time range, like Last hour or All time.
Select the types of information you want to remove.
Click Clear data.
On a personal device, for best results with District Curriculum and websites, we recommend using the Google Chrome browser.
Trouble Logging into the Chromebook:
Verify you have the correct username and password. Student log in accounts are available in the PowerSchool Parent Portal. A common issue is mistyping "westsideunion.com" in student usernames".
The specific error message can help point you in the right direction. If it reads that your students' "Account is locked", this means there are too many failed attempts to log in. Wait 10-15 minutes and try again.
Remove the student profile from the Chromebook. Your student's data should be safe in their Google Drive, but any pictures or videos stored locally might be lost.
Teleconferencing systems were never meant for the load schools and remote-workers are putting them through. School Chromebooks are light-weight personal computing devices and they weren't optimized for using these services all day, every day. We've collected a series of tips and workarounds to help improve your experience. Please be aware, these won't make the issues go away completely until the service providers enhance their systems and optimize for delivery to Chromebooks.
Switch to Speaker View (Zoom) - or Change your Layout (Meet); here are the layout options in Meet:
Auto—Allows Meet to choose the layout for you.
Tiled—Shows up to 16 people when there is no presentation.
Move your mouse to see participant names.
If someone joins after the meeting starts, their image is at the bottom of the screen.
Presentations appear in a large tile, with the most active participants to the side.
Spotlight—The presentation, active speaker, or pinned feed fills the window.
Sidebar—You see the active speaker or presentation with additional participants on the side.
Tip: When you choose a new layout, your preference is automatically saved. To return to the default layout, click Auto.
Turn off your Mic and Camera unless/until you need to use them. Camera's are not required for attendance and can impact performance the greatest. Keep in touch with your teacher to make sure they know when and why you are turning them off. Turn them on when requested.
Request smaller groups with your Teacher. Large groups (10+) can cause lag and delay on Chromebooks
Limit multi-tasking, or doing a lot of other things in other tabs. Every tab opened takes away resources from your Zoom/Meet. Don't stream video or music or have a bunch of tabs open while on your video call.
Limit unnecessary household internet usage (like streaming TV/Netflix, Music, etc). Our homes are filled with Internet Of Things devices that eat up our limited wireless bandwidth. Use only what you need, when you need.
Reboot your Chromebook and Remove your Profile
To reboot your Chromebook, Press and hold Refresh + tap Power , then release refresh.
Remove the student profile from the Chromebook. Your student's data should be safe in their Google Drive, but any pictures or videos stored locally might be lost.
We have been planning for some of our students to return to face-to-face instruction beginning today, but due to the continual increase in COVID-19 cases, directions from Los Angeles County Department of Public Health advised that students remain on distance learning.
Parents of students who were to return to in-person instruction received notice of this change last week. Our current return date for those students is January 25th, but the Board will consider this again at its next meeting, January 19th. Attached you will find the advice letter from LACDPH for your information.
During this week, you should receive your children’s first semester report of progress. In addition, the most recent assessment of their academic progress from the NWEA will be sent to you. Our schools are closed for winter break, but classes will resume on January 11, 2021. At this point, we anticipate that some students will return to transitional kindergarten and kindergarten classes on campus. Some TK-6th grade students in mild/moderate special day classes will also return to classes on campus.
As we enter the week of Thanksgiving, it is an opportunity to express my gratitude for allowing our staff to work with you and your family. Though the past 8+ months have been unprecedented and unexpected, I am thankful for our Board, our staff and all our parents for the collective work that has been done to ensure that our students still receive the best possible educational experience. I am hopeful that you and your family will have an opportunity to spend some quality time together, while taking a break from school.
In this post:
* COVID-19 Update on School Reopening Plans
* Westside Wire Update
* School Lunches
* Student Technology
* Additional Resources
On Wednesday, November 11th we pause to recognize the sacrifices made by members of our military while protecting our freedoms throughout the history of our nation. If you have children in grades TK-2nd, you should have received information about a survey being conducted to help with processing our waiver request to Los Angeles County Public Health that may enable us to reopen our schools in hybrid presentation for students in the primary grades.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has provided an additional option for some students to return to face-to-face instruction under some specific conditions. To apply for the waiver, the district must consult with parents and the unions. So that we can reach as many parents as possible, we ask for your response to a survey being sent to the email address we have on file.
The first quarter of our school year has concluded and by now you should have received your children’s progress reports. As you review with your children their progress about their academic endeavors this year, please be sure to contact the children’s teacher if you have concerns. This week's topics include: Annual Updates to Enrollment Data, Voting, Update from the Tech Department, LA County Dept. of Public Health Reopening, Board Meetings, and Child Nutrition
In the upcoming weeks, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health will be making visits to our school sites to confirm that we are compliant with the directives we’ve been given. The visitors will also be ensuring that all staff members on site know what the protocols are, and how to protect both students and staff as they return to the campus.
We seem to be moving slowly into fall. Unfortunately, the heat has continued to make fighting the fires in California difficult, and the smoke has produced unhealthy air quality throughout our state and especially in our Valley. We are approaching the end of our first quarter of the school year, and you should anticipate receiving a progress report for each of your children in the mail following the close of this first quarter on October 9th.
We are especially concerned for our neighbors in the Antelope Valley who have been victims of several fires, and we join others in trying to support efforts to help families safely return home. Congratulations and thanks for many years of dedicated service to members of our staff who are choosing to retire at the end of September. We will certainly miss our colleagues and our students and families will miss the special ways in which they have supported our students.
Congratulations to Westside Union School District, which was honored by @AVAQMD with the annual William J. Pete Knight Achievement In Reducing Emissions (AIRE) award.The Board will hold its semi-monthly meeting on Tuesday, September 15th. Items on the agenda include recognition of additional retirees, ACSA Golden Apple Award, IDEA Academy Presentation, Unaudited Actuals, Learning Continuity Plan, and current orders from LA County Public Health.
I hope you are enjoying your Labor Day weekend, taking time to spend it together in some of the activities you like as a family. As we end our first month of the school year, please use this extra day to take a break from school and enjoy the family time. We do appreciate all that you and your children are doing to make this school year as effective for student learning as possible.
We have now completed our first 3 weeks of the school year, and again, I thank you and our staff for your patience and understanding as we continue to conduct our classes online. As you are no doubt aware, again the process of containing COVID-19 in California and Los Angeles County are undergoing changes, which will likely impact our return to face-to-face instruction. We are doing our best to stay abreast of the changes as they occur, and we appreciate your cooperation throughout this ever-changing process.
As we begin our 3rd week of the school year, I want to again thank you for your understanding, cooperation, partnership, and dedication as together we conquer the challenges of the many forms of distance learning. I am also thankful for the dedicated members of our teaching and support staff who are working hard everyday to make the learning engaging and meaningful to our students.
Like with any new strategy, we have a few issues to address:
This has been a most unusual first week of school for students, staff and parents alike. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation, patience, and understanding as we continue to work on the delivery of instruction through online means. If you are having technical issues with logging on, getting into PowerSchool or other programs, please contact your child’s principal for additional assistance and also check the District website for instructional videos made especially to assist you and your child.
Questions have been asked regarding attendance. Teachers are taking attendance every day near the same time as they take the daily lunch count. Find out more in the blog...
The opening of our 20-21 school year will certainly be different than any opening we’ve experienced in the past. With orders from our Governor and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, all class instruction must be through distance learning for now. All students will start with distance learning on Monday, August 10th.
Welcome to our new school year. We are excited to have you as part of Westside Union School District.
On Friday, July 17th, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered all school campuses to remain physically closed in counties on the state’s monitoring list due to spiking COVID-19 cases. This includes Los Angeles County. Schools cannot re-open until their county has come off the state’s monitoring list for 14 consecutive days.
Our Board held a special meeting on Monday, July 20th to listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and determine how the 20-21 school year will open for our students given the Governor’s Order. Read more in this post.
The celebration of our nation’s independence provides us an important opportunity to reflect on the events of this past spring. In forging our nation, our Founding Fathers laid out lofty principles by which the nation should be established.
As we all know, these unprecedented times have made us reconsider how we go about educating our students, and the impressive levels of public participation show that we are, indeed, all in this together. After nearly six hours of presentation and discussion, the Board voted unanimously that in the best interest of the health and safety of our students and staff to implement the following for our opening on August 5, 2020
Thank you for your kind comments this past week, whether it was about our IT staff checking and sorting everything or related to our staff engaging with you when you came to the schools. This update contains information on a variety of recent issues, including 8th grade promotion, progress reports and Chromebooks.
The health and safety of our students, staff and community remain foremost for all of us. As you may have heard, Governor Newsom, Superintendent of Public Instruction Thurmond, and LACOE Superintendent Durado encouraged school boards to consider extending the closure of our school buildings for the remainder of this school year to reduce the spread of COVID-19. In emergency session on April 3, the WUSD Board members voted unanimously to extend the current closure through June 4, 2020, the end of our academic year.
Updates provided to FAQ as of April 3, 2020 @10:25am.
Westside Union School District’s highest priority is the safety and well-being of our students, staff and community members. With that in mind, we are striving to provide a steady flow of information to families and help them make good, healthful decisions. Many parents have asked questions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, what we are doing about the situation, and what may occur in the future.
I know many of you are following the news related to COVID-19 and seeing all of the measures being implemented to help reduce the spread of the disease. Most of you are aware that both the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Governor of California have declared that everyone is to shelter at home, practice social distancing, and to gather only in groups of 10 or less.
Students who participate in the school lunch program will be able to pick up a "grab and go" meal for breakfast and lunch at the following schools between 11:00 a.m. and noon, Monday –Friday, March 16-20, 2020 at limited locations.
Our schools will be closed from Monday, March 16-20, 2020. Thereafter, we will begin our scheduled Spring Break from March 23-April 3, 2020. Essential personnel may be on duty as needed, but for all others, you should not plan to come onto your campus or work site. Your supervisor will notify you if you need to be present for work.
We will close all of our schools and offices beginning Monday, March 16, 2020 until Friday, March 20, 2020. Our spring break begins on Monday, March 23 and concludes on April 3, 2020. The Board will meet again on March 31, 2020 to determine if our schools will reopen on Monday, April 6, 2020.